An eagle-eyed reader sends in this email sent to Department of Commerce employees regarding the Justice Department-designed scam to test readers' vulnerability to internet scams by offering to help them recoup their losses in the Thrift Savings Plan:
Distribution: All DOC Employees (EXCEPT PTO)
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has reported that some participants have received an email purporting to be from the TSP. It states that if participants have lost more than 30% of their TSP account value, they are eligible for a one-time U.S. Government bailout to recover their losses. The message directs participants to a "look-alike" TSP web site that asks for account credentials (User Name and Password). The email is signed "TSP Account Coordinator."
This email is not an official TSP communication.
The TSP does not initiate requests for sensitive information such as account numbers, user IDs, passwords, or PINs from participants via email. Furthermore, the TSP does not collect or maintain a list of participants' email addresses.
If you receive an email from someone claiming to be a "TSP Account Coordinator," please do not reply to it, click on any links, or open any attachments. If you responded to this "phishing" email and provided any personal information, please contact the TSP immediately at 1-877-968-3778. The bogus web site is being disabled, and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is actively investigating the matter.
When accessing your TSP account online, always be certain to close your browser after you've finished. For more information on how to avoid email scams, refer to http://www.onguardonline.gov/topics/email-scams.aspx#2. This is a web site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If you receive a similar email, let me know. I want to track how far this thing has spread.